“Shapo” hesitates, “FAA” insists on Cincinnati

“Shapo” hesitates, “FAA” insists on Cincinnati

Hours after seeing fellow countryman Denis Shapovalov lower the flag, Félix Auger-Aliassime saved two match points and didn’t give up to reach Thursday’s Cincinnati Masters quarterfinals.

• Also read: Félix Auger-Aliassime’s game comes to life again

“FAA”, seventh, went up the slope against the Italian Jannik Sinner (10th). After 2h26 min of play he won in three sets 2-6, 7-6 (1) and 6-1.

We felt the tide turn as the Quebecer completely dominated the tie-break in set number two. It was a real tennis lesson, which he then served to Sinner in the final set.

With no fewer than 54% of service changes and 70% of possession points in the third set, he gave his rival no chance.

The Montrealer held on in the second set to force a tie break. He then saved two match points, which he had offered with a double fault, at a score of 6:5.

In that three-stage duel, Auger-Aliassime eventually bested Sinner with winning shots (34-27) and committing fewer unforced errors (24-30) while hitting 14 aces against just four double faults.

Auger-Aliassime meets Borna Coric in the quarterfinals. The latter has eclipsed Rafael Nadal and defending National Bank Open champion Roberto Bautista Agut since the start of the tournament.

Helpless Shapovalov

Earlier in the day, Russia’s Daniil Medvedev had late breaks in both sets he played against Shapovalov to win in two identical sets 7-5.

The favorite stole serve from his opponent in the third game of the first set by taking advantage of several unforced errors from “Shapo”. The latter moved Medvedev to a 4-4 draw in the eighth game.

However, three games later, the first seed broke again after a hotly contested game but punctuated by brief substitutions.

The two tennis players held until the 10th game of the second set, where Medvedev again broke Shapovalov, the world’s 21st racquet.

The Ontarian fought back as best he could, saving 10 of the 13 break points he faced in that game. However, his 29 unforced errors prevented him from aiming for a better result.

Medvedev has now won the last three duels between the two men in straight sets. He meets American Taylor Fritz (11th) in the quarterfinals, who defeated Russia’s Andrey Rublev (6th) earlier in the day.